Shoulder to Shoulder post-election statement of solidarity and hope

On Press Release

November 18, 2016

As leaders of religious communities in the United States, we cannot be silent while even one community is marginalized and threatened. Religious freedom and respect for the dignity of every person are our core American values, and we stand together today to ensure these commitments are equally extended to all Americans.

Division, fear, anger and distrust threaten our nation. Our Muslim neighbors have reason to fear for their safety and that of their children. Hate crimes targeting Muslims and other people in our communities have surged in the past year. American Muslim communities have been further victimized by a wave of hate crimes since last Tuesday’s election.

We, the religious institutions of this great nation, stand shoulder to shoulder with each other in support of our Muslim brothers and sisters. This is a community of doctors and soldiers, Gold Star parents and artists, engineers and activists, public servants and students, bankers and stay-at-home parents. They are crucial members of American society and they deserve to live their lives free from persecution.

When President-elect Donald Trump delivered his acceptance speech, he promised to represent all Americans – that includes Americans of all religions, races, identities and backgrounds. Our America includes those who have joined us recently, those whose ancestors immigrated over two centuries ago, and those who are indigenous to these lands. No one should fear for their own safety in this country because of how they dress, how they pray or how recently they arrived. In line with the incoming administration’s stated commitment to providing leadership for all Americans, we call on the President-elect to forcefully denounce speech and actions negatively targeting the Muslim community, including the proposal to require the registration of Muslims in the country. We invite him to join us at a mosque to meet our Muslim brothers and sisters, and in recognizing Muslims as vital members of society who are welcome alongside Christians and the unaffiliated, Jews and Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists. We ask him to show through actions and words his commitment to the religious freedom upon which all faith communities in America rely.

It is our hope that America will come together as one nation, healing the deep divisions this campaign season and election has revealed. We are stronger when we stand united, and will work together to realize the vision of “one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

We have great hope for our nation’s ability to come together despite our divisions. We have seen fear and hate, but we have also seen outpourings of love and solidarity. This solidarity is our heritage and our future. We stand open to engaging with the transition team and the new administration, on this firm foundation of solidarity and unyielding commitment to our nation’s highest ideals.   

Signed:  

Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski, Chair, Bishops’ Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

 

Rabbi Deborah Waxman, President

Reconstructionist Rabbinical College/Jewish Reconstructionist Congregations

 

Rev. Dr. Elijah M. Brown, General Secretary

North American Baptist Fellowship

 

Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, Presiding Bishop

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

 

Rabbi Elyse Wechterman, Executive Director

Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association

 

Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly

Presbyterian Church (USA)

 

Rabbi Jill Jacobs, Executive Director

T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights

 

Mr. Jim Winkler, President

National Council of Churches

 

Rabbi Jack Moline, President

Interfaith Alliance

 

Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner

Director, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism

Senior Vice President, Union for Reform Judaism

 

Rabbi Marc Schneier, President

Foundation for Ethnic Understanding

 

Rabbi Nina H. Mandel, President

Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association

 

Sister Patricia McDermott, President

Sisters of Mercy of the Americas

 

Rev. Peter Morales, President

Unitarian Universalist Association

 

Rev. Dr. Richard Cizik, President
New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good

 

Rev. Ron Stief, Executive Director

National Religious Campaign Against Torture

 

Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins, General Minister and President

Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

 

Susan E. Gillies, Interim General Secretary

American Baptist Churches USA

 

Dr. Steven Timmermans, Executive Director

Christian Reformed Church in North America

 

 

 

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